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A study of the demography of the corn belt of the North American Middle West

Thompson, I. B. (1960) A study of the demography of the corn belt of the North American Middle West. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The objective of research was a detailed analysis of the demography of the Corn Belt at the time of the latest available census. This necessitated a description of the spatial variation in demographic characteristics together with a consideration of the causative factors involved and the relationship between demographic features and other socio-economic phenomena in the distinctive agricultural economy of the Corn Belt. Despite the distinctiveness of the Corn Belt the area was shown to be in no sense a uniform demographic region. In all aspects of demography significant contrasts occurred spatially and these were shown to be related to numerous differential factors of which the most important were residence, cultural composition, age and sex, occupational characteristics and contrasts in the date and nature of the initial occupance. Of these the type of residence was found to be the most consistent differential factor in demographic characteristics. In addition, migration was shown to be a demographic constant in the evolution of the population of the Corn Belt and in particular was a vital factor in the development of the present complex pattern of distribution and density. The latter was shown to be a composite structure in which an irregular urban and suburban distribution was super imposed on a relatively uniform distribution of rural population composed of the agricultural labour force and rural service centres. The evolution of this composite pattern was related to the differential growth of urban and rural population and involved considerable redistribution by internal migration. The result has been a concentration of the majority of the population in urban centres in activities unrelated directly to the agricultural economy, while in the basic rural distribution rural depopulation was shown to have regional significance.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1960
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 16:14

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